Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Complete Health with Ayurvedic Sources

According to Ayurveda Nidra (sleep), Brahmacharya (abstinence) and Ahara (diet) are accepted as the three sub pillars (upasthambhas) necessary for the glossy running of life. Diet (ahara) is contemplated as the best maintainer of life. Lifestyle and diet notably affects the overall health of the person. Self- controlled and brilliant person should consume food having essential vitamins and minerals in optimum quantity to prevent diseases. Most of the diseases are developed due to the improper diet or lack of nutrients. In this article we discussed vitamins and minerals, their role in normal health and their Ayurvedic sources.

INTRODUCTION

Nutrition is the basic need of our body. Any type of imbalance or lack of nutrients leads to various health issues. According to Ayurveda, Minerals and Vitamins are not specified as separate parts. But the food & food sources that are mentioned in a healthy diet contains all essential minerals and vitamins. These are also called micronutrients. Essential vitamins and minerals are necessary substances that are used in the development and proper functioning of the body.

Some Examples of Essential Vitamins and Minerals are

Vitamins: Vitamin A, C, D, E, K. Vitamin B include B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B6 (Pyridoxal), B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folic acid), B12 (Cobalamin).

Minerals: Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Chloride, zinc, Iron, Iodine, Copper, Fluoride, Sulphur, Cobalt.

Essential micronutrients, their sources and functions:

Vitamin A: Vitamin A is the bunch of organic compounds such as, Retinol, retinoic acid, retinal.

Source: Spinach, Pumpkin, Capsicum etc.

Functions: Vitamin A plays an important role in gene transcription, hematopoiesis, and bone metabolism and improves skin health.

Deficiency: Vitamin A deficiency leads to several diseases such asnight blindness, xerophthalmia and hyperkeratosis etc.

Vitamin B (Eight types of Vitamin B are)

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Source: Legumes, whole grains, meat, fish.

Function: This Vitamin plays an important role in muscle contraction.

Deficiency: Deficiency of this vitamin leads to Beriberi disease.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Source: Green leafy vegetables, Broccoli, Mushrooms.

Function: It helps to develop Blood cells and Brain Functions.

Deficiency: Vitamin B2 deficiency may include Stomatitis, Conjunctivitis, and Ariboflavinosis etc.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Source: Green peas, Brown rice, Whole wheat.

Function: It helps to maintain a healthy nervous system.

Deficiency: Deficiency of Niacin includes Diarrhea, Dermatitis etc.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

Source: Soybean, Mushroom, Avocado, Broccoli.

Function: It helps in the production of RBCs and sex hormones.

Deficiency: Deficiency of this Vitamin leads to Depression, Muscle Cramps and Hypoglycemia etc.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Source: Whole grain, Oatmeal, Vegetables, Soya beans etc.

Function: It reduces the risk of heart disease, helps in the production of haemoglobin.

Deficiency: This vitamin deficiency causes Peripheral Neuropathy, Seborrheic dermatitis, Seizures etc.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Source: Walnuts, Peanuts, Mushroom, Cauliflower etc.

Functions: It improves body metabolism and also maintains mucous membranes.

Deficiency: Vitamin B7 deficiency includes, Hair loss, Anaemia, Fungal infections etc.

Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)

Source: Sunflower seed kernels, Spinach, Hazelnuts.

Functions: This Vitamin helps to increase brain health and repair of RNA and DNA.

Deficiency: It includes, Grey Hairs, Stomatitis, Glossitis etc.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Source: Fish, Chicken, Cheese, eggs.

Functions: It helps to maintain functions of the brain and nervous system.

Deficiency: Deficiency of cobalamin includes, Psychosis, Breathlessness, and Depression etc.

Vitamin C:It is also called Ascorbic acid.

Source:Several fruits like, Orange, Pineapple, Strawberry and Papaya etc. Several vegetables like, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Capsicum etc.

Functions: It is an Antioxidant and also helps in wound healing, collagen synthesis.

Deficiency: Scurvy is the main Deficiency of Vitamin C.

Vitamin D:It is the class of fat soluble Vitamins which are  also known as Calciferols.

Sources: Sunlight is the major source of Vitamin D. Other sources may include mushroom, Fish liver oil, salmon etc.

Functions: It helps to enhance renal absorption of calcium and also helps in Bone resorption.

Deficiency: Rickets is the most common deficiency of Vitamin D.

Vitamin E: It is also the class of fat soluble compounds also called Tocopherols.

Source: Sunflower oil,Sunflower seed kernels, Broccoli Avocado.

Functions: It is beneficial in the synthesis of RBCs. It is also a Super antioxidant.

Deficiency: Deficiency of Vitamin E includes, Peripheral Neuropathy, Retinopathy.

Vitamin K: Vitamin K is also known as Quinones.

Source: Green leafy vegetables, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage.

Functions: By producing Prothrombin, It helps in Blood clotting. This vitamin also helps in Bone metabolism.

Deficiency: Excessive Bleeding is the main disease which is caused by the deficiency of Vitamin K.

Ayurvedic Concept

According to Ayurveda, Essential vitamins and minerals are maintained in the body with the concept of Nitya SevniyaDravya. Nitya SevniyaDravya are the substances that are used on a regular basis to protect the body from various kinds of diseases and also prop up the Immune system of the body. These Nitya Sevniya Dravya as mentioned by Acharya Charka in Charaka Samhita Sutra sthana 5/12 are following:

Amalaki (Amla): It is the most common source of Vitamin C. It also contains minerals such as, Iron and calcium.

Mudga (Green gram): It is the great source of vitamin B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B9 (Folic acid). It is also a great source of minerals such as magnesium, iron, copper and potassium.

Saindhavalavana (Rock salt): It contains Magnesium, Copper, Iron and Zinc.

Yava (Barley): Barley is the rich source of Vitamin B1. Copper, Phosphorus, magnesium and chromium are the minerals that are present in Barley.

Go-ghrita (Cow’s ghee): It is the rich source of Vitamin K, A, D, E.

Antarikshajala(Rain Water): It is the great source of vitamin B12.

Go-dugdha (Cow’s Milk): Vitamin and Vitamin B12 are present in cow’s milk. Minerals like, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc.

Shashtikashali (Navara Rice): It is the great source of minerals and Vitamins of B groups like, Thiamin, Riboflavin, and niacin.

Janglamamsa (Meat of tropical region animals and birds): It is the richest source of Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12. It also contains Iron and Zinc.

Madhu (Honey):-It is rich in Vitamin B derivatives, Riboflavin and Niacin. It contains several minerals like, Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc.

CONCLUSION

After going through this article, we can say that due to the busy schedule and improper dietary habits, today’s life is prone to deficiency or lack of Vitamins and Mineral resources. This is primarily because everyone is taking unbalanced diet. Ayurveda, being a life science, taught us a better way of how to be healthy and how can we get Vitamins and Minerals in a balanced manner.

About The Author

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

He is an MD – AYURVEDA and is an expert Ayurvedic practitioner based in Chandigarh, India and doing his practice in Mohali, India. He is spreading the knowledge of Ayurved.... Read More..

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